Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mural, Mural on the Wall

Google, you failed me! When I tried to use you to find the the scoop on these San Antonio murals, online details were few and far between. Fortunately I took close-ups (not pictured here) of the signs near some of the murals so I can leave a little tidbit here for the next person who Googles this stuff. Google, I'll bill you later the improvement in your search results that this post will yield.

Pics 1-3: Located just off East Commerce Street near Sunset Station, the Texas Musical Legends Mural was created by student artists under the direction of Gary V. Lett, and dedicated in December 2005. According to its sign, "This ceramic mosaic tile mural is designed to honor those Texas-born musicians that have made an indelible world impact to their particular musical genre." (More
here, although the site erroneously refers to the mural as the 'Texas-Born Musicians Mosaic.') In case you're wondering what Texas music sounds like, the contemporary artists pictured are (L-R, across the top section of the mural): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Pic 4: Located on the Goodwill building at West Commerce and Santa Rosa, the New Chapa Lion Mural was created by San Antonio artist Jesse Treviño. According to its sign, a nearby drugstore, demolished in 1970, included a painted mural of a lone lion known as the Chapa Lion, because a man named F.A. Chapa started the store. He named the store 'La Botica de Leon' (Lion Drugstore) after his native state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The current mural, created in tile to make it long-lasting, was conceived in 2000 when Goodwill renovated a building that used to be next to the Lion Drugstore. The artist included a pride of lions in the new mural to signify the growing community. "The working figures surrounding the perimeter represent Goodwill's mission, 'To Help Change Lives Through the Power of Work.'"

Pic 5: Located on the side of the CRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital that faces Milam Park, the Spirit of Healing Mural was designed by Jesse Treviño. According to info
here and here, the mural, completed in 1997, is one of the largest murals in the US. Spanning nine stories of the hospital, the mural is 93 feet tall and 43 feet wide. It contains over 150,000 pieces of hand-cut ceramic tile (100,000 of which were reportedly cut by the artist himself), in 70 different colors. The cost of erecting the mural, which was commissioned by Santa Rosa Health Care of San Antonio, was $1.5 million. (It is said the hospital had no idea up front how expensive the undertaking would turn out to be.) The child depicted is based on the artist's son and the angel on his deceased sister.

Pic 6: Located on the side of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in West San Antonio, La Veladora of Our Lady of Guadalupe was designed by Jesse Treviño and completed in 2006. (For gringos and infidels unfamiliar with Our Lady of Guadalupe, aka La Virgen de Guadalupe, get the history
here.) Per info here, the 40-foot, 3-D mosaic includes an internal flame (just like a real veladora) and is dedicated to the victims of 9-11. Although the mural is a bit off the beaten path - in other words, it's not in the downtown touristy section of town - I figured it was worth going out of my way to find it since, if this site is to be believed, it's the largest Virgin Mary mosaic, not just in the US, but in the entire world.

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